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We are one month away from the start of the CZC Spring Training 600K Challenge! For cyclists, this challenge includes either 6 x 100K or 6 x 62’ (or some derivation thereof) of cycling over a nine day period starting April 17th. In order to complete the entire challenge, there are some things you should be including in your training now.
Warm weather riders may already be up to ten hours a week of riding, and that’s awesome. However, many in the upper part of the northern hemisphere are still dealing with snow and cold winds, so getting in 3 – 6 hours a week on the trainer is more reflective of the past few month. To comfortably undertake and complete the CZC Spring Training with the least amount of sore legs, back, bums, and shoulders/necks, it’s important to get in enough T.O.S. or Time on Seat.
Many riders have spent their winters completing Peloton and Zwift rides, or sweating and pedaling through structured interval workouts. For many of the athletes I coach, they have a solid winter foundation of at least 3 hours a week of riding, and of that as much as 20% in sweet spot or tempo zones. They are perfectly primed to step up to 4 ½ hours a week or more as the weather begins to turn. Regardless of where you are at, it’s time to focus on increasing your time on the bike. The key to doing this safely is to keep the additional volume or duration aerobic. This means increasing your aerobic base.
There are three primary ways to increase your aerobic base with the least chance of injury, mental burnout, or soreness.
1. Maintain your riding days per week but add time to each ride.
You’re riding 60’ on Tuesday and Thursday and 90’ on Saturday for a total of 3 ½ hours a week. This rider could add 15’ to each of Tuesday and Thursday’s rides, and 30’ to their Saturday ride to increase total weekly ride time by 1 hour. The extra 15’ will be most beneficial on the back side of the workout, and it can be ridden at long endurance pacing (65-74%) or as active recovery/cool down (up to 55% FTP).
2. Increase your riding by one day per week and keep your usual duration.
You’re riding 60’ on Tuesday and Thursday and 90’ on Saturday for a total of 3 ½ hours a week. This rider could add an hour active recovery (a/k/a super low aerobic) on Sunday or Monday and complete this ride at up to 55% of FTP.
3. Add two or more Active Recovery rides per week.
You’re riding 60’ on Tuesday and Thursday and 90’ on Saturday for a total of 3 ½ hours a week. This rider could add a 20’ Active Recovery ride (up to 55% FTP) on Sunday, Monday and Friday for a total of an additional hour per week, or could add a 30’ Active Recovery ride up Fridays and Mondays of 30’ each.
These are simple and safe examples of how to increase volume/duration by 28.6% in one week (normally we follow a 10% per week increase in volume OR intensity only). After the first week, you can increase again for the next four weeks until spring training. Ideally, you’ll be riding a minimum of 4 ½ hours per week, and better still, at least 6 or more hours a week as of 4/17 when CZC Spring Training Begins.
One important note is to remain patient and not be greedy. Some athletes start to push intensity and volume at the same time, and these are the riders that quickly report knee, back, or other pain that sidelines them.
Be smart, get in your T.O.S. and Let’s Do This! #CZCSpringTraining
If you’d like to discuss your training leading into the CZC Spring Training Challenge, then please contact Coach Clare here.